Diving Into The Deep End…

 

Diving Into The Deep End…
Why it’s important
to get straight into the sea

Written by Larry Gray


I find that people who learn in the ocean from the start make great sea kayakers. Generally kayakers who learn in harbours or lakes develop fears of the sea that can take a while to get over. When finally the barriers are broken only then do they realise what they have been missing out on.

When I teach beginners, I like to analyse their immediate confidence—find out whether they are water people, how quickly they are going to advance, levels of fitness, how suited they are to the kayak they’ve chosen (eg does it fit them or do they fit it?). I then advise them on how to trim out their yak. After one day my trainees are close to rolling, if not doing it already.

People approach me again , usually within two weeks, with their kayak decked out to fit them comfortably. I immediately introduce them to re-entering a capsized kayak and some Continue reading

Where’s Larry? part.3

 

Where’s Larry?
part.3

Story by Richard Gulliatt


“We would go camping in these beautiful remote wilderness spots,” she says, “and Larry would go diving for mussels and come back and cook them on the fire. We would spend the day prising oysters of rocks and then tie a rope to a bottle of champagne and trail it in the water to cool it down. We’d go kayaking, swimming with seals – a lot of things I had never done before.”“I wanted to show her the amazing world under the water with a mask and snorkel, because that would be a great starting point for going on adventures together,” recalls Gray. “But I couldn’t for the life of me get her into wearing a mask underwater. So I introduced her to the idea of having a shower with the mask on.”

Within a year, O’Malley found herself socialising with Inuit on the Greenland icecap as her new partner went kayaking through icefloes. Gray had found out that Eric Phillips, an Australian adventurer, was going to trek across Greenland with two friends and arranged to join the trip as a cameraman. Continue reading

Where’s Larry? part.2

 

Where’s Larry?
part.2

Story by Richard Gulliatt


According to friends, however, none of this is contrived. “He has a sort of naïve fascination with the world that is completely genuine,” says friend and filmmaker Gary Steer. Gray’s partner and co-producer, Mary O’Malley, recalls that on their first date at a Kings Cross restaurant a few years ago, her new beau ended the meal by picking up the plate and licking it clean. As for his vagueness about times and dates, she has a ready explanation: “Larry reads time by the sun.”O’Malley winces at the Crocodile Dundee comparisons people often make, but some of the stories about Gray’s younger days do read like comedy. In 1986, he was one of four Australian kayakers who retraced the path of a 1931 British expedition that travelled 1,000 kilometres down the east coast of Greenland. Upon arriving in London, the intrepid Australian explorers were guests of honour at a formal dinner held by the Austalian-British Society in an 18th century mansion. George Pompei, one of the kayakers on the trip, recalls that Gray looked with awe at the huge sculptured gardens surrounding the mansion, then turned to one of their terribly English hosts and exclaimed, “Wow – what a great backyard!” Continue reading

Where’s Larry? part.1

 

Where’s Larry?
part.1

Story by Richard Gulliatt

(Extract from the ‘Good Weekend’ magazine courtesy of the Sydney Morning Herald, Feb 5th 2000)


He’s rubbed noses with Inuit, danced barefoot through fire in Papua New Guinea and paddled a kayak 4,500 kilometres up the Australian coast on a whim. Just don’t call kayaker and filmmaker Larry Gray the new Crocodile Dundee.As we drive to a café near his Sydney home, Larry Gray starts telling me a story which – like many Larry Gray stories – sounds at first like some shaggy-dog bush yarn concocted for the benefits of a credulous urban journo. It’s not the story of how Gray first visited Sydney as a teenager in a kayak and tried to camp by the Opera House. It’ s not the one about how an iceberg fell on him in the Arctic and left him stranded for four days in perilous sub-zero temperatures with only a handful of lentils to eat. Nor is it the one about how he sailed a bamboo raft through shark and crocodile infested waters in the Northern Territory in order to show some Aboriginal elders in Arnhem Land the electronic didgeridoo he had invented. Continue reading

Adventure Presentations

 

Adventure Presentations

Written by Larry Gray


Original and inspirational multimedia presentations. A great way to raise funds for a club or organisation or inspire your corporate colleagues.Book a presentation through Larry Gray on 0413 805 610.


Click here for L. Gray references.

 

1. Mallacoota to Torres Strait Islands

At 4,500 kilometres, this is the longest unsupported sea kayak journey in Australia.

 

2. Bass Strait and Tasmanian South West Coast

A wild sea passage.

 

3. The Greenland Expedition

The first Australian Expedition to the Arctic.

 

4. Tracks of the Hunter
Continue reading

Adventure Films and Documentaries

 

Adventure Films and Documentaries
Written by Larry Gray


     Since setting out for his trip the entire of the east of Australia Larry Gray has recorded
his journeys. In the early days we would travel around showing his slides all over the
country and overseas. These days he is a professional documentary maker. This is a
small selection of television documentaries featuring the Pittarak kayak.

    For further information on videos and documentaries please contact Larry Gray on
Mobile phone: 0413 805 610
Office phone: (02) 9388 9881
e-mail: larry(at)primalvision.com.au
Continue reading

PITTARAK Perspective

 

PITTARAK Perspective
Written by Tom Parker


I would like to offer the following perspective to assist people who are dealing with the various issues of a first kayak purchase.

To begin with, I have brought with me paradigms from a background of Whitewater River running and wave skiing since 1980. At first I rented various kayaks and borrowed from friends and commercial retailers in an effort to at least develop a set of reference points for decision-making. Even though a sea kayak has to travel efficiently between two distant points, nonetheless it has to do many other things, in varying conditions, while it makes that journey. This became more evident as I developed my skills and undertook short trips of increasing difficulty.

Most of the kayaks I initially tried were too clumsy for me. They were either too rigid in their tracking and wouldn’t turn efficiently, or were far too large for my sense of intimacy with respect to kayaking, or, just weren’t responsive enough in the way that I had been used to, or, just felt as though they were just banging about on the water. Continue reading

PITTARAK Warning

 

PITTARAK Warning

Written by Larry Gray


As we know, sea kayaking is opening up a whole new world of adventure. But choosing the right sea kayak is a critical decision. I have sea-tested my Pittaraks through Arctic storms and pack ice to the blistering heat of the equator. They have never let me down. They are the first kayak to have succeeded in both Arctic and Antarctic expeditions. I have refined the Pittarak through a life-time of continuous sea kayaking. I consider them the best sea kayak available, but due to the success of the Pittarak there are unauthorised copies on the market which look attractive but are unseaworthy. For your safety, quality and value for money, only purchase my certified design. All certified Pittarak sea kayaks have a Larry Gray signed unique licence label within the cockpit with the contact details of PITTARAK International on that label. Continue reading

PITTARAK – The Story

 

The Pittarak took shape after many hard sea miles and a lot of experiments. It all began with an old slalom kayak that I slowly converted over the years for exploring the coast line of my home town, Mallacoota. I paddled a Nordcapp and a Baidarka (UK version) until the Icefloe design hit our shores. Back in the early 80s, I considered that particular design quite advanced and most suitable for general Australian conditions.I spent months at a time away in this boat, surf board on the back with everything I needed to survive and travel comfortably with shoved inside the hatches. For three years, as I traveled around, I took notes and sketches and jotted down many ideas for improvement. I physically made new sections–eg a nose shape, deep

Continue reading

PITTARAK – The Story Fitting Out The Kayak

 

 

PITTARAK – The Story

Fitting Out The Kayak

Written by Larry Gray


The external bilge hand pump has proven time and time again to be the most reliable and useful system. Firstly, one or more people during a rescue can operate it, it can be operated while sitting in or on top of the kayak and it has no batteries or wiring problems as with electric pumps. It can be operated in all paddling conditions.The hand pump is designed to remove general paddling slops throughout the day . Once the simple rolling techniques are mastered- pumps become very secondary any way. The more a kayaker relies on tricky secondary bailing systems, the more likely a novice will feel a false sense of security to venture further off shore in dangerous conditions. The hatches are recessed to reduce water hammer, which can lift a hatch cover or cause leakage.
Both rear hatches are accessible while paddling. The large one is less recessed but has a water foil to deflect water impact. This maintains easier access for loading and unloading a full boat. The seat is off the hull to allow water slops to pass beneath and not slosh up on to the kayaks crutch but pool at the bilge pump intake pipe. The outer sides of the seat become storage pockets. The entire seat is slung from the deck to allow some hull flex rather than a hull snap Continue reading